Currier Museum wins $ 100,000 grant for rooftop solar panels
September 20 — The Currier Museum of Art received a grant of $ 100,000 to help it install solar panels on its roof.
This grant comes from the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation. Frankenthaler was a well-known American abstract painter who died in 2011.
The museum is one of 79 selected grant recipients nationwide and the only organization in New Hampshire to receive funding in this first round. Other museums include the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC
Alan Chong, director and CEO, said the museum received the highest amount donated by the foundation.
“What’s interesting about the grant is that it really aims to help art museums become energetically sustainable, which is very unusual because it is aimed at the art world,” a- he declared.
The museum has been considering the installation of solar panels on the flat parts of the roof of the building for several years. Chong said it is not always easy for nonprofits to obtain financial support for such sustainability projects.
“We really couldn’t achieve this in the short term without financial support,” he said.
Chong said the museum didn’t just want to cut its energy bills. The organization wants to be socially aware of energy sustainability and respect for the environment.
“It’s the normal way we always think of it as consumers and it’s probably not the best way to look at energy,” he said. “In a nutshell, we see things like sustainability, healthcare, wellness and culture all being interconnected. Although we are an art museum, we are keen to respect our environment and to do our best for society in terms of health and well-being as well. “
One of the challenges will be the skylights integrated into the roof of the main museum. A contractor will be selected through a competitive bidding process.
The museum estimates that it can install 312 solar panels with a capacity of around 115,000 kilowatt hours per year.
“We believe this will reduce our energy consumption by about 25%,” Chong said.
Dan Weeks, vice president of business development at ReVison Energy, has seen an increase in the number of nonprofits installing solar panels over the past five years. The company helped the museum obtain the grant.
The company has also installed similar signs at the nearby Boys & Girls Club.
“We view these projects, which are often funded by our local mission-aligned investors and the Community Loan Fund, as ‘clean energy endowments’ – an effective way to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in spending. long-term operation for nonprofits while helping fight climate change, ”Weeks said in a statement.
Currently, the museum has a Frankenthaler piece, “Gypsy,” painted in 1973, on loan from a private collector, Chong said. The room is over 7 feet wide.
The museum has also taken steps to make its new automatic Toufic H. Kalil Usonian house, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and the Chandler Mansion, energy efficient.
The museum hopes to install the panels next year.